Maori Party is celebrating today
Professor Whatarangi Winiata, President of the Maori Party
The Maori Party is celebrating today after lodging nominations for 42 electorate candidates with the Chief Electoral Office in Wellington.
"The 42 electorate candidates include our seven candidates for the Maori electorate seats, and thirty-five spread across general electorates throughout the country" noted Professor Whatarangi Winiata, President of the Maori Party.
"We have also lodged a total list of 51 candidates, spanning in age from 19 through to 73 years. We have a very strong team of tangata whenua, along with Fijian, Samoan, Niuean, Cook Island, Chinese and Pakeha candidates" stated Professor Winiata.
"We are also particularly proud that within the top five of our list are three wahine Maori (Tariana Turia, Atareta Poananga and Glenis Philip-Barbara). Clearly this is a point of contrast to the mainstream parties who feature Maori women at 19th place in National's list (Hon. Georgina te Heuheu) or 24th in Labour (Jill Pettis).
"We are delighted with the efforts of the membership and our electorate committees, to be able to put forward a team that will clearly have a significant impact on Election 2005" stated Professor Winiata.
The Maori Party is also thrilled with the new results (announced 22 August) which indicate that the number of Maori enrolled with the Electoral Enrolment Centre has greatly increased on previous years.
"We were excited to learn that 30,000 more voters identified as being of Maori descent have enrolled, compared with the same time in 2002" stated Professor Winiata. "That brings to a total of 371,300 people enrolled of Maori descent, with the great majority of these on the Maori Roll (204, 500).
"These results are clearly a sign of the new energy that Maori are exhibiting in making their electoral presence felt".
"2005 is the year to make a stand, and we know that our political participaiton can be greatly improved in just two ticks for the Maori Party".
"A lack of real choice has meant that elections haven't seemed relevant to many Maori" concluded Professor Winiata. "With the advent of the Maori Party, this looks to be changing".